All parents know that those early years, before the children have settled into school, are vital in a child’s life and at Home-Start we believe that parents have the key role in creating a secure childhood for their children. It’s just that sometimes you need a bit of help.
This can be as simple as talking to someone who understands you, practical support with meal planning and cooking, reading and playing with your children, going to the local park, or finding out about local services. Your volunteer will visit you in your own home.
We also arrange sessions where you can meet other parents and their children in a warm, supportive, child-friendly atmosphere. You can make new friends and share in learning, picnics, parties and outings. Family Group sessions are based in Saffron Walden and transport can be arranged.
Our volunteers give their time because they want to help. They all have an understanding of the pressures of parenting. They give a couple of hours every week and their help is tailored to your request.
Volunteers’ visits to families form the basis of our work across Uttlesford. A carefully selected and trained volunteer, who has parenting experience, will visit regularly for 2-3 hours a week in the family home.
Volunteers offer emotional and practical support which is tailored to what the parent decides. Needs can vary from week to week so our support is flexible and responsive and can include:
- being a listening ear or someone to talk to
- adult company
- helping and playing with your children
- help to find out about and access other local amenities and services
- encouragement and motivation
- practical support around the house
Our volunteers are vetted and carefully matched to each family. Each person we place with a family will engage with them personally for a set time each week. The kind of help needed is agreed with the parent. Our volunteers are supported by expert staff.
We aim to build trust, support and help families, with an ultimate goal to develop independence, social networks and self-confidence in parents and their children. We are aware of the challenges faced by parents today. We have many contacts with other organisations that can provide help and we can assist parents to access this support.
Next: Family Groups